Fish Pie






I'd always wanted to make a fish pie but never seemed to find the right time for it! Luckily, I happened to pass a really cute fish pie dish in my local supermarket  and had to have it and therefore desperately had to make a fish pie for it!

As I'd never made a fish pie before, I decided to look at different recipes and it was interesting to see how different some were from each other and I got a bit confused as to what an authentic fish pie should be! Therefore, I just took what I liked from each recipe, added a few of my own ideas and came up with this!

Serves 6 hungry people!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 kg potatoes (I used Maris Piper)
  • 80g unsalted butter(50 for the white sauce and 30 for the mashed potatoes)
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 450 ml fish stock
  • 360 ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 50 g Cheddar cheese 
  • 25g  Red Leicester cheese 
  • ½ a lemon
  • 1 heaped teaspoon English mustard
  • A small bunch of parsley
  • 200 g baby spinach  
  • a handful of peas
  • 300 g cod
  • 200 g  salmon
  • 200g smoked haddock
  • 150g Fresh Prawns
  • 1full teaspoon of nutmeg

What to do!

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C /356F/  G4
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut into small evenly sized chunks.
  3. Place the potatoes in plenty of cold water with a good amount of salt
  4. Boil until tender- this will take approximately 20 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes! 
  5. When potatoes are cooked and tender, drain and leave in the colander for them to cool down.

 In the meantime, you can make the sauce!

6. Melt 50g of the butter in a heavy pan over a low heat and stir in the flour. Add the bay leaves, then the fish stock, white wine and 150 ml milk. Gently and slowly, stirring as you go when adding every addition until you find you have a smooth consistency. Take your time with this :).

7. Bring the sauce to the boil and then let it simmer straight away. Let the sauce simmer until you see the sauce thicken. This will take around 10 minutes.

 8. Once the sauce is thick, add the mustard and grate half of the cheddar cheese, chop the parsley and add them all to the sauce as well. Keep stirring all throughout.
9. Squeeze in the lemon's juice and continue stirring until you see the cheese has melted.
10. At that point add a pinch of salt and some pepper and remove from the heat.


11. Now, you can mash your potatoes! Mash the potatoes and add the remaining of the butter and a splash of milk when needed. Season with some salt, pepper and your nutmeg!




12. Now grab your lovely dish and make sure it's deep enough (mine wasn't for the amount I made!) A 2.5 inch deep dish should be perfect.

13. Cut up your fish, if not already done so and place them evenly on the dish, making sure there are no bones!

14. Add your spinach, peas and anything else you wish to add to your fish pie!

*You could also choose to put the fish and veg in the sauce, simmer for 5 minutes and then put all in your dish, mixed.

 
*If you do not choose to put your fish and veg into the sauce, then now's the time to:

15. Remove the bay leaves from your sauce and pour the sauce evenly all over your fish and veg.





16. Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the pie (at this point it would be nice to use a piping bag for the potatoes but I was in too much of a hurry to see how this would taste so denied myself of the fun of that!!)

17. Grate the remaining Cheddar and the red Leicester over the top

18. Bake in the oven for approximately 50 minutes or like me, you can check to see if the top is lovely and golden!




and Voila! It sounds bity but once you've done it the first time you realise how easy it is! You can save yourself a bit of time by buying ready made mash and prepacked, cut and selected fish in 'fish pie' packages at the fish section of supermarkets. But all these things don't take that much time really and make the process more fun and tasty!





*I shall be putting up some alternative fish pie recipe links that I have found since, through my twitter & facebook  accounts next week, so do watch out for them!

























Bean Body Coffee Bean Scrub (an extension from my Holland & Barrett Review - see 22nd Jan blog post)

I know my blog is all about food yet this is a rare occasion where I have decided to review a beauty/health product.
I did mention in my past Holland & Barrett blog post how I had not had a chance to pamper myself much. Boy, was I not wrong! It's taken me 3 months to get around to trying this body scrub! What did I think, you may wonder? Was it worth the wait, you might ask?............ 

YES!
I think it's the best body scrub I have ever used- and I have used many body scrubs in my life, including products such as Clarins, Decleor, The Sanctuary, Soap & Glory and Cowshed!


Why was it the best body scrub I have ever used? Well, for a start, it doesn't feel harsh, it felt that it scrubbed dead skin off effortlessly, but somehow managed to keep my skin smooth and silky - and not too oily like some products can be. It just has a great balance and I was very impressed indeed. I truly feel it got my lymphatic system moving and honestly stimulated my circulation and digestive system. I know this seems like a lot for one scrub- perhaps it is the power of the coffee bean - but whatever it is, I felt cleansed, healthy and smooth after.

I have heard that coffee scrubs can improve the appearance of cellulite and stretchmarks and since I have both those things and have tried different potions and lotions in my life to combat them to find that nothing really worked,( though to be fair, the Clarins body lift helped my cellulite for a while, when it first came out, as long as I used it every single day continuously), I was totally skeptical and took that claim with a pinch of salt! I have only tried this scrub the once, two days ago, but it instantly made both my cellulite and stretchmarks look visibly better and having had a quick glance at my body right now, it seems to have stayed that way! *Note to self, use this scrub once a week religiously!!

The two tips I would give on this product is a) you need less than you think (as you'll see the amount of coffee is very generous) and b) make sure you wash off well and use a dark towel as it will stain your towel if you do not wash off well.



I don't know if you can tell in the photo but my hands & arms (amongst the rest of my body) look soo smooth and silky and honestly, feel so soft- something no product can ever maintain for me. 

Thanks Bean Body Care and Holland & Barrett, I have certainly found a find! :)


Vanilla Cupcakes

Getting ready for my baking and my *Morphy Richards Mixer is my old reliable friend!
 
Spring has sprung and I have been frantically busy and in need of some down time. So, I thought what better way to relax then with a little baking! Here is a simple Mary Berry Vanilla Cupcake recipe I found on line.

Ingredients (for the cake mix) :
175g butter, cut into large pieces
175g self-raising flour
175g caster sugar
½ tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract

What to do!

Preheat the oven to 180c/Gas mark 4. 
Get a 12-hole muffin tin with either paper cupcake or muffin cases (I used the silicone kinds) 
Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk or a wooden spoon until smooth and are evenly mixed (I used my electric mixer for most of it as I find it needs a lot of beating to get a smooth consistency & and then I finish it off with a bit of hand whisk beating!)
Divide the mixture evenly between the cases (make sure you leave some space at the top as they will rise!)
Bake for approximately 20- 25 minutes or until the cakes are well risen and firm on top.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
 
 
Icing Time!

Ingredients:
175g butter, cut into large pieces
½ tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp milk
350g icing sugar, sifted 
Pink edible food coloring
Edible pink hearts or sprinkles for decoration

What to do! 
Put the butter, vanilla extract, two tablespoons of the milk, and half the sifted icing sugar in a large bowl and beat until smooth. 
Beat in the remaining icing sugar, and pour in the rest of the milk if needed to make the icing the right consistency. (the first time I made this, I did exactly as stated here, but today, I just put it all in at the same time and the end result was the same!)
Put half of the icing into another bowl and color it pale pink with the edible coloring. Carefully spoon this down one side of a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle, then spoon the non-colored icing down the other side of the bag. Twist the end of the bag to seal the icing in.
Pipe swirls of the icing on top of each cupcake. Scatter with the edible pink hearts, or other sprinkles, to decorate. (Again, I did the above the first time I tried out this recipe, but today, I tried all kinds of icing colors and even marzipan, just to demonstrate how much fun one can have decorating a cupcake!)










*disclaimer - I have not been endorsed by Morphy Richards- I just love my mixer and thought it's about time to mention it as it's been my friend throughout a lot of my cooking!

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